Have you heard of eFactor? If not, there’s no need to sheepishly look down while mumbling “no”. I hadn’t either until a few days ago, but after doing some digging, I’m definitely a fan now. There’s no shortage of social media platforms out there. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr...to name but a few. Some are more “social” than others, and some lean more towards the business side of things than most (LinkedIn, I am looking in your direction). There are tens of thousands of business and entrepreneurial websites and blogs, with more added all the time. If anything, you’re spoiled for choice. Sorting through it all becomes time-consuming at best, and overwhelming at worst.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was one place to get it all?
What is eFactor?
Straight from the horse’s mouth:
Our mission at eFactor is to provide entrepreneurs with the support and the connections needed to grow their businesses. We know the entrepreneurial journey is filled with financial roadblocks, corporate dead-ends, and sometimes sharp emotional turns, which is why we’re determined to inspire, support and connect you to the people and resources you need to stay motivated.
The website aims to be a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to providing for and connecting entrepreneurs and like-minded professionals. Everything you need, from blog posts and articles on starting, growing, and succeeding in business, to available and recommended resources, to networking events (both online and in the real world), and an online social media meeting place. It’s all there for the taking.
What Can You Do on eFactor?
The short answer? Everything.
The longer answer? The website is conveniently divided into several intuitive sections, including “Get Inspired”, “Resources”, “Network”, and “Events”.
This section contains the bulk of available content. You can virtually mingle on the eFactor Blog, a great place to share stories, ask questions, and offer advice. It currently has about 2000 entries, covering broad topics from ideation to pitching, from growth to funding and success. Read up on the subjects that matter most to you at whatever stage of development you find yourself in. And more importantly, find people writing about those things. Leave a comment. Follow the author. Connect with them via the built-in networking platform (more on that in a moment).
eFactor provides multiple ways to connect and network with different groups of people. Their eMentor section puts you in touch with certified business mentors. Whether you’re looking for advice on pitching, or selecting an investor, or drafting a business plan, or anything else you can possibly imagine, you’ll likely be able to find someone with experience or authority in that area. Finding the right mentor can often be the difference maker in the early days of your business.
The onsite network platform puts you in contact with the professionals, advisors, and writers who contribute to and work with eFactor. You can follow their profile, or send them a direct message. Click on their name and read their complete bio and background, including their key work experience and area of expertise, as well as links to their specific blog, website, and social media accounts. There are currently well over 500,000 people in this network (530,359 at last count).
eFactor schedules and hosts events throughout the year, and all over the world. There are currently sixteen scheduled (12 online, 2 in New York, 1 in Cambridge, and 1 in San Francisco). Their frequent online webinars and events are free to members, while the “real world” events generally come with a price tag between $15-25. Rubbing elbows (virtual or otherwise) with the movers and shakers of the business world is worth its weight in bitcoins, so be sure and check out the page from time to time to see what is coming up. Topics at the moment include writing a business plan, niche marketing, growing with content distribution, and crowdfunding.
Find an Investor
The funding section of the website provides some great information on the what, how, and why of finding the money you need to start, or take something to the next level. Beyond just reading up on your available options, you can actually apply via eFactor, creating an application/pitch package that is then ready to be read by potential investors. You can target angel investors, business loan, venture capitalists, or crowdfunding...all from one convenient, central page.
Create a funding request
Investors can read it and indicate their interest
You approve (or reject) the interest and request to connect
Connect with each other directly through eFactor.
Simple. And all from the same website that provides great content, a large and growing blogging and discussion forum, live and online events, and a 500,000+ strong community. eFactor wasn’t even on my radar this time last week. It’s front and centre now.